Journal - 2017

Journal - 2016

2016-2017 Alabama Hunting & Fishing Digest now available!

August 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

Download the PDF of the digest by clicking here.

2016-2017 Alabama Hunting & Fishing Digest

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Test Your Knowledge on Alabama Wildlife

August 22, 2016 at 10:34 am

View the following pictures.  Can you tell which is the common Alabama bobcat (Lynx Bamous) and which is the elusive Barbour County bobcat (Lynx Barbous)?  

(click Read More to the right to see images of the 2 species)

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Mandatory Game Check Rule in effect beginning Fall of 2016

August 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

GAME CHECK - Mandatory effective Fall of 2016

Following completion of the harvest record, hunters are required to report all deer harvests within 48 hours through Game Check using the Outdoor Alabama app for iPhone and Droid smartphones, online, or telephone (1-800-888-7690).

There are 3 ways to report:

  1. Click here to check a deer or turkey

  2. Check a deer using the Outdoor Alabama App

  3. Call 1-800-888-7690

Data collection is an extremely important part of any deer management program and should be the primary item affecting deer management decisions. Data collection allows managers to monitor trends in the deer population’s physical condition, deer population numbers, deer harvest numbers, hunter success rates, and many other measures of a deer management program and effectiveness.  Not collecting the right types or amounts of deer-related data often adds many unnecessary challenges to an already difficult task. This is true for deer on a small private property or across an entire state.  Game Check can be viewed online.

Statewide Voluntary Game Check information for the past years:

  • For the 2015-16 season:     15,138 deer  -  1,996 turkeys           
  • For the 2014-15 season:     16,266 deer  -  1,174 turkeys      
  • For the 2013-14 season:     19,903 deer  -  2,012 turkeys         

WFF biologists and administrators examine the agency’s data collection efforts each and every year to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of the deer management program. One area where data collection efforts have been lacking is an understanding of how the state’s deer harvest is distributed across the state and throughout the season. While the number of deer currently reported through the Voluntary Game Check is only a small percentage of the total statewide harvest (<10%), these data will provide valuable trend data in years to come. In the future, a larger percentage of the annual harvest will be captured through Mandatory Game Check and as more people become comfortable with the new system and see the value of the data gathered through the system. Knowing when and where people are killing deer, as well as when and where people are not killing deer, will be indispensable when evaluating the effects of the timing and length of the various types of deer seasons (e.g., archery, muzzleloader, either-sex, etc.) on the deer harvest on a county and regional basis, rather than a statewide basis only.

Managing Alabama’s deer population and its deer hunters is a unique and challenging process. WFF strives to be proactive in its management strategies and to keep the best interests of the deer populations and deer hunters at the forefront of the decision making process. As data collection efforts improve and WFF gain a clearer understanding of the desires of the state’s deer hunters and the status of its deer herd, changes to the length and timing of Alabama’s deer season, bag limits, and other aspects of deer hunting in Alabama are likely in upcoming years.

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Barbour County Bobcat Harvested at Smuteye

January 7, 2016 at 9:37 pm

The 2013-2014 hunting season was one of the best ever for Jeff Bartlett.  Not only did he harvest the 2nd of his three trophy bucks widely known as "The Smuteye Triumvirate", but he also punched his wildcard by harvesting a bobcat at Smuteye.  What "Lucky" Jeff didn't know at the time is that this was no ordinary bobcat.

Jeff delivered the trophy bobcat to local taxidermist, Walter "Ed" Randolph. Ed recalled something unusual in the look of this predator. "I got to working on the cat and seen [sic] somethin' in the way his eyes was lookin'.  It was almost like this bobcat on my table was studyin' the other mounts in my workshop," said Randolph. 

His suspicions aroused, Randolph called State Biologist Ringo Dugan, the foremost expert on feline predators in the southern United States. Dugan examined the cat and identified it as the shy and elusive Barbour County bobcat (Lynx barbous). "The Barbour County bobcat is unique in that it is the only member of the cat family Felidae that has horizontal pupils," explained Dugan.

The most unusual aspect of Bartlett's bobcat is that it was found on Smuteye Plantation in Bullock County. "Bobcats are known to have a well-defined range of no more than 1-2 miles," says Dugan. "This young female clearly ventured farther from her home than any other Barbour County bobcat we have encountered before. Her wider range suggests possible influence by a larger cousin such as the Alabama Leopard." (Panthera alabamas)

[Note: at press time, Jeff Bartlett had not decided whether to place the mount in his home or contribute it to the Alabama Rare Species Foundation Museum in Elba.]

Click read more for more photos -->

 

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Raines Earns "Smuteye Slam"

January 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Jimmy Raines reduced the coyote population at Smuteye by one on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 (see attached pictures).  This accomplishment (along with previously taking a trophy buck, turkey and bass) makes Jim only the 4th recipient of the coveted Smuteye Grand Slam (aka "Smuteye Slam").

"One Shot, One Kill" Raines used a Thompson Center Encore Pro Hunter chambered in 308 Win to take down the predator.  "It came down the sendero on the North Box so I got ready. I shot it from about 60 yards while it was trotting across the lower end of the field."

Raines plans to have a taxidermist prepare a full body mount of the red dog to install in his bedroom above the headboard of his bed. "It's what Lynda has always wanted!" 

Click read more for more photos -->

 

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Journal - 2015